Hilsa kelee   (Cuvier,  1829) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: CSIRO

Size: 35 cm TL

Color: Back blue green, flanks silvery, a dark humeral blotch (behind operculum) followed by 3 to 7 similar spots along flanks and occasionally spots along back. Tips of anterior dorsal fin rays dusky, caudal fin tips faintly dusky.

Body compressed and depth is little more than 1/3rd of standard length. Abdomen has 15 pre-pelvic and 12 post-pelvic scutes. Adipose eyelid with vertical slit is present exposing about 60-70% of pupil. Top of head with numerous fronto-parietal striae; upper jaw with median notch. Gill rakers about 100 to 175, those on inner arches distinctly curled; outer row of gill filaments on first arch not more than half length of gill rakers. Dorsal fin with 13 to 15 branched rays, its origin slightly before midpoint of body. Anal fin with 15 to 19 branched rays, lying well behind dorsal fin base. Pelvic fins below anterior part of dorsal fin base, with axillary scale. Pectoral fin with no axillary scale.

Dioecious, external fertilization, nonguarders, open water/substratum egg scatterers.

Synonym (s)
Alausa brachysoma Bleeker, 1853
(Junior synonym)
Alausa kanagurta Bleeker, 1852
(Junior synonym)
Alosa brevis Bleeker, 1848
(Junior synonym)
Alosa malayana Bleeker, 1866
(Junior synonym)
Clupea durbanensis Regan, 1906
(Junior synonym)
Clupea kanagurta (Bleeker, 1852)
(Junior synonym)
Clupea kelee Cuvier, 1829
(Senior synonym)
Clupea platygaster Gunther, 1868
(Junior synonym)
Clupea sinensis (non Linnaeus, 1758)
(Misapplied name)
Clupeonia blochii Valenciennes, 1847
(Junior synonym)
Harengula zeylanica Hubrecht, 1879
Hilsa kanagurta (Bleeker, 1852)
(Junior synonym)
Hilsa kelee (Cuvier, 1829)
(Senior synonym)
Macrura brevis (Bleeker, 1848)
(Junior synonym)
Macrura kelee (Cuvier, 1829)
(Senior synonym)
Tenualosa kelee (Cuvier, 1829)
(Senior synonym)
Hilsa (Hilsa) kelee Whitehead, 1973
Macrura kelee Misra, 1976
Macrura kelee Fouler, 1941
Hilsa brachysoma (Bleeker, 1853)
Clupea (Alosa) platygaster Weber & de Beaufort, 1913

Common Name (s)
• Kelee Shad (English)
• Five Spot Herring (English)
• Vatta Kanni (Malayalam)
• Kanat (Marathi)
• Koli Meen (Tamil)
• Maangai Soodai (Tamil)
• Soodai (Tamil)
• Keele (Telugu)
• Kolimeen (Telugu)
• Kalipila
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Marketed fresh, dried, dried-salted and boiled. Made into fish balls.)

Habitat:  Pelagic, Estuarine
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Feeds chiefly on phytoplankton (mainly diatoms, also dinoflagellates), but also copepods, molluscan and crustacean larvae, prawns, amphipods and polychaetes.


• Gujarat, Gulf of Kachchh (Lat: 22.6) (Long: 69.5) INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake (Lat: 19.77) (Long: 85.33) INDIA
• West Bengal, Digha Coast (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika INDIA
• Gulf of Aden
• Tamil Nadu, Vellar Estuary INDIA (Record: 09/2001-05/2002)
• Andaman Sea (Lat: 14.23) (Long: 93.43) INDIA (Record: 02/1985-06/1987) (Depth: 56 mts)
• Andhra Pradesh INDIA
• West Bengal (Lat: 21.45) (Long: 87.9) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Off Rameswaram INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Dhanushkodi INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • Harris, SA and Cyrus, DP (1995) Occurrence of fish larvae in the St Lucia estuary, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa South African Journal of Marine Science 16 333 - 350 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Harris, SA and Cyrus, DP (1999) Composition, abundance and seasonality of fish larvae in the mouth of harbour, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa South African Journal of Marine Science 21 19-39 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Allen, BR and Cliff, G (2000) Sharks caught in the protective gill nets off Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. 9. The spinner shark Carcharhinus brevipinna (Muller and Henle) South African Journal of Marine Science 22 199-215 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Subba Rao, NV and Sastry, DRK (2005) Fauna of Marine National Park, Gulf of Kuchchh (Gujarat) ZSI 79 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Abbaasi, SA (1997) Wetlands of India-Ecology and Threats Discovery Publishing House,New Delhi II 1-182 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Goswami, BCB (1992) Marine fauna of Digha coast of West Bengal, India Journal of Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 34 115-137 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at - http://www.fishbase.org
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at - http://tnenvis.nic.in
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at - http://tnenvis.nic.in/PDF/coastal%20data.pdf
  • Satapathy, D and Panda, S (2009) Fish atlas of Chilika Chilika Development Authority, Bhubaneswar 74 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Animal Photo Album Available at - http://www.animalpicturesarchive.com/
  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean; (Fishing area 51). FAO, Rome 1 Available at - http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/ad468e/ad468e00.HTM#Contents
  • Fischer, W and Whitehead, PJP (1974) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Eastern Indian Ocean - Fishing Area 57 and Western Central Pacific - Fishing Area 71 FAO, Rome 1 Available at - http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/e9163e/e9163e00.htm
  • Brinda, S; Srinivasan, M and Balakrishnan, S (2010) Studies on Diversity of Fin Fish Larvae in Vellar Estuary, Southeast Coast of India World Journal of Fish and Marine Sciences IDOSI Publications 2 (1) 44-50 Available at - http://www.idosi.org/wjfms/wjfms2%281%2910/9.pdf
  • Balachandran, K and Nizar, MA (1990) A check list of fishes of the Exclusive Economic Zone of India collected during the research cruises of FORV Sagar Sampada Proceedings of the first workshop on scientific results of FORV Sagar Sampada CMFRI, Cochin 305-324 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/5269/1/43.pdf
  • Ramani, K; Ammini, PL; Srinivasan, J; Najeemudeen, SH; Beena, MR; George, KP; Seynudeen, MB; Subbaraman, G; Anandan, K; Khambadkar, LL; Augustine, SK; Pugazhendi, D; Rudhramurthy, N; Subramani, S; Seetharaman, S; Batcha, HK and Sankaralingam, S (2010) An overview of marine fisheries in India during 2007 Marine Fisheries Information Service CMFRI, Kochi 203 1-14 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at - eprints.cmfri.org.in/3975/1/Special_Publication_No_12_Revised.pdf
  • Das, P; De, SP; Bhowmik, RM; Pandit, IK; Sengupta, R; Nandi, AC; Thakurta, SC and Saha, S (2007) Piscine diversity of West Bengal Fishing chimes 27(5) 15-28 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Biswas, KP (2009) Fishes around Indian Ocean Dominant Fish Groups Occurring in Indian Coasts Daya publishing house Available at - NIO,Goa

Page last updated on:2012-01-11

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